|Chris Colabello watches his home run fly Friday.|
Kubel, Gardenhire insisted, "hangs in there" well against lefties. Kubel sat Monday's game out , Gardy said, because Sale is just an exceptionally tough lefty.
Well, yes, Sale is exceptional. But Kubel has 949 career plate appearances against left-handed pitchers, not all of them exceptional, in his major league career, and he has a slash line of .234/.304/.374 in those trips to the plate. That's not good enough to justify using him as a DH or (considering his defensive limitations) corner outfielder against southpaws.
Colabello started against Sale. Kubel started the second game, against a right-handed starter.
The White Sox used a lefty again on Thursday -- and Colabello played, and Kubel sat. Colabello had a big game (6 RBIs), and on Friday -- against a righty -- he started again (and hit a home run).
I do not expect Colabello to become the full-time DH, at least not this quickly. And given Gardenhire's well-established distaste for platoons, I still expect that Kubel will get far too many chances to flail and fail against the southpaws.
But even if Gardenhire does limit Kubel's exposure to left-handed pitching, we should not expect the manager to acknowledge that he's platooning. That would be OK; I'd rather have the manager platoon and pretend he isn't, than pretend he doesn't need to platoon at all.